People of all political and religious stripes are broadcasting their love for Chick-fil-A following a testy New Yorker article saying the fast food chain was making a "creepy infiltration" of New York City.
The April 13 article, "Chick Fil-A's Creepy Infiltration of New York City," by Brooklyn-based writer Dan Piepenberg argued that the popular chain does not belong in a progressive city like New York, given its owner's opposition to same-sex marriage, complaining about Chick Fil-A's "pervasive Christian traditionalism,""suburban piety," extensive marketing, and community outreach efforts, including their famous cows.
The article set the Internet and media world ablaze with responses from fans of the restaurant's signature chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, and others who noted the double standard.
Here are 5 responses to the New Yorker article griping about the chicken sandwich restaurant in the city.
Rod Dreher: The article was 'beyond parody' and 'rank, anti-Christian bigotry'
Rod Dreher, an Eastern Orthodox Christian and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Benedict Option, was incredulous at New Yorker piece, asking several questions of the influential magazine.
"Would the New Yorker have published a piece critical of a fast-food chain owned by pious Muslims, characterizing their appearance in New York City as an "infiltration," and saying that because of its ownership, the restaurants do 'not quite belong here'?" Dreher inquired Friday on his blog at the The American Conservative.
"Of course it wouldn't. So why do they single out Evangelicals for this spiteful treatment? I think we know the answer, but I wish editors at the magazine would ask themselves this question."
He also wished they would consider how they might react if a magazine in "Jesusland," — a sarcastic term secular liberals sometimes use to refer to more Christian populated area of the country — published an article arguing that the local opening of a business owned by Orthodox Jews was an "infiltration," and that it "does not quite belong here."
Dreher added that while he is a fan of the New Yorker — the publication gave him a favorable interview about his work and writing last year — Piepenberg's article was "beyond parody" and "is not only an example of laughable cosmopolitan hickishness, it is rank anti-Christian bigotry."
Kat Timpf: I'm Not Christian And I Support Gay Marriage; I Will Still Eat At Chick-fil-A.
Writing at National Review Monday, Kat Timpf made clear that she is not religious at all and is completely supportive of gay rights but will continue eating at Chick-fil-A because she likes the food.
"Yes, Chick-Fil-A's CEO is a Christian. So what?" she wrote. "So are millions and millions of other Americans. I may not be one of them; however, just as I expect other people to respect my beliefs and not discount my humanity because of those beliefs, I also feel that other people deserve that same respect."
"So ... do I feel like this Christian-owned chicken chain is infiltrating my city? Do I associate the smell of its fried food with bigotry and hate?"
She went on to say that she would not visit the fast food chain if she thought her dollars would in any way contribute to gay marriage becoming illegal, but that is not going to happen since the matter has been settled in the courts.
"The truth is, the fact that there's a restaurant chain in my city that's owned by someone who feels differently than I do is just not that big of a deal ... if I allowed myself to eat food only from establishments where the owners agreed with all of my beliefs, then I'd probably starve."
Obianuju Ekeocha: Chick Fil-A's 'Witness in Culture is Powerful'
Pro-life advocate Obianuju Ekeocha, who hails from Nigeria and is now based in the U.K., is currently in the United States and noted that whenever she comes to America she makes a point to visit Chick-fil-A.
"I am not American, yet every time I am in America I make serious efforts to eat at @ChickfilA . They are such valid and valiant witnesses in our culture today that they inspire me with courage. Also their food is delicious," she tweeted April 13 in response to the article against them.
Three days later she made good on that promise.
"Yep, as I said the other day...whenever I'm in America I LOVE to partake of @ChickfilA meals. Their witness in culture is powerful and of course their food is delicious!," she tweeted Monday.
Ekeocha is the president of Culture of Life Africa and the author of the Target Africa: Ideological Neo-colonialism of the Twenty-first Century.
Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn: A Big Double Standard Exists
In a Monday segment on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson asked, "Has any country ... ever had a less impressive intellectual class than ours currently does?" observing that it seemed strange that in a country that has been majority Christian from its inception a Christian-owned business operating in the largest American city would be referred to as an "infiltration."
Conservative Mark Steyn called the New Yorker article "appallingly written" saying it would never have been published under previous editors Harold Ross or Tina Brown.
Piepenberg wrote that the restaurants' corporate purpose "still begins with the words 'to glorify God.'"
Steyn could not believe that line.
"It still begins with the words 'to glorify God' because God is so 2013!" he exclaimed, gaining a laugh from Carlson.
"So this guy is saying we can't tolerate Christian traditionalists serving us their homophobic chicken sandwiches," he quipped, noting that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton publicly espoused the same views as Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy a few years ago.
Carlson joked that the halal guys who sell food on the street corner are much more "medieval" about these issues than Chick-fil-A but the New Yorker has no problem with them.
Jonathan Merritt: Why Don't Progressives Boycott Gasoline from Nations Hostile to LGBT Issues?
Author and progressive Christian writer Jonathan Merritt, who is supportive of gay rights, criticized the progressives, noting how quick they are to decry a Christian-owned chicken sandwich shop but do not push back against overtly hostile regimes, where a significant portion of the world's oil is produced.
"I'm not going to give a penny to @ChickfilA because their owners aren't fully supportive of LGBT marriage," declares the "progressive" activist as he fills up his car with gasoline hailing from Saudi Arabia, a country where LGBT sex is punishable by fines, flogging, and prison," Merritt tweeted.
A commenter replied that the United States gets only 8 percent of its oil from Saudi Arabia, chiding Merritt, "but don't let the facts ruin a good story."
Merritt responded in the tweet thread: "8% [South Africa]: LGBT sex punishable by fines, flogging, prison, 4.8% other Persian Gulf: LGBT sex is illegal, often death penalty. 5.9% Venezuela: LGBT couples not protected from discrimination by law. 5.2% Nigeria: LGBT couples not protected from discrimination by law. Violence against LGBT couples notoriously bad and unpunished. 5.1% other African nations: None of which fully protect LGBT people under the law.
"You are right, friend, facts are a funny thing."
"About 1/3rd of America's oil comes from entities that have much worse views on LGBT relationships than any leader at Chick-Fil-A. Yet I don't know a single progressive friend who thinks for a moment about where his gas comes from."
Merritt also talked about the issue in his most recent FaithAngle podcast with Kirsten Powers.
In July of 2012 Merritt defended the fast food chain against charges that they were a "hate group" in The Atlantic. The controversy at the time was over an interview in which Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy outlined his belief in traditional sexual ethics.
"On both sides of our latest culture war divide, we must learn to have level-headed disagreements without resorting to accusations of hate speech and boycotts," he wrote at the time.
"I don't care how my dry cleaner votes. I just want to know if he/she can press my Oxfords without burning my sleeves. I find no compelling reason to treat sandwiches differently than shirts."